Fleet operators have been urged to concentrate on the wholelife cost of their vehicles in the light of rising fuel prices.
Last week the price of crude oil hit $135 a barrel and current forecasts of global oil production remain bleak.
Mark Sinclair, director of fleet management company Alphabet, said the combination of higher fuel prices and incoming CO2-based tax changes would make wholelife costing a paramount concern to all fleets.
“Wholelife costs are the only way to go when selecting vehicles,” he said.
“Vehicles with lower wholelife costs, which include fuel, road tax, employer’s National Insurance and corporation tax, deliver significant savings.”
Despite the benefits of wholelife costing, Mr Sinclair said operators were still procuring vehicles based on list and leasing prices while ignoring the bigger picture when it came to the overall cost of their fleet.
“The impact of higher fuel costs is magnified by the effects of carbon taxes aimed at fleet drivers.
"This will make purchasing policies based solely on the price or rental – used by tens of thousands of UK companies – much riskier,” he said.
Mr Sinclair added that wholelife cost calculations were seen as too complex by many fleet managers.
However, he said changes to road tax and capital allowance rates could be easily incorporated into wholelife cost workings with the use of specialist fleet software.